Acetal Plastic for Flow Control Parts

When making flow control parts for the various industries that use them, you need materials that can hold their shape rigidly over many uses under a range of temperatures. One of the best materials for this application is acetal plastic. Acetal plastic, which is also known as polyacetal and polyoxymethylene (POM), has the properties needed for a reliable flow control part.

What is acetal plastic?

Acetal plastic is a compound that has good dimensional stability, meaning it will maintain its shape without effects from changes in humidity and temperature. The plastic is also very stiff so that it maintains its shape under pressure, and it offers low surface friction to keep from slowing down the flow through a flow control part.

Acetal plastic is an engineered, semi-crystalline thermoplastic. Thermoplastic means that it can be heated to its melting point where it will turn into an easily flowing liquid, then cooled until it becomes hard again without losing its mechanical properties from the process even when done repeatedly. This makes it easy to work with. An engineered plastic means that it has better mechanical properties and higher heat resistance than your regular commodity plastic. An example of a commodity plastic would be a PVC pipe.

The benefit of it being a semi-crystalline plastic is its high melting point. Instead of what happens with some plastics, semi-crystalline plastic doesn’t begin to soften as it gets closer to its melting point. Instead, it stays solid until it reaches its melting point where it quickly changes into an easily flowing liquid. While the melting point does depend on the exact type of plastic, semi-crystalline plastics generally have a melting point between 275 and 335 degrees Fahrenheit.

Different types of acetal plastics

Glass-filled acetal plastics

In glass-filled acetal plastics, the plastics are simply filled with glass fibers. This lends additional stiffness to the plastic but doesn’t reinforce its strength since there is no chemical bonding between the glass fibers and plastic. This type of acetal plastic is recommended for general industrial applications.

Glass-reinforced acetal plastics

For parts that need both higher stiffness and strength, glass-reinforced acetal plastics are the way to go. Instead of filling the plastics with glass fibers, the glass fibers are chemically bonded to the plastic to reinforce strength and stiffness. In every case, glass-reinforced acetal plastics are stronger than glass-filled acetal plastics.

Food-grade acetal plastics

Acetal plastics can be made in food grade for food packaging and food processing industries. These food-grade acetal plastics meet the standards of USDA, FDA, NSF, and other food safety agencies. They generally come in white but can be modified with color additives that also comply with food-grade standards. An added layer of safety can be implemented with metal-detectable additives. If plastic particles contaminate the food, these additives make it much easier for conventional metal detection systems to pick up on the issue.

Acetal plastic and more! | Plastic Service Centers

If you regularly use acetal plastic and other plastic resins in your work, you need a supplier you can rely on always. At Plastic Service Centers, we can take care of that! We carry over 4 million pounds of plastic resins in our various warehouses at any given time. These warehouses are strategically placed so that we can quickly ship anywhere in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Plus, our expert sales staff can answer your questions and recommend the plastic resin that would work best for your applications.

To learn more, give us a call at (586) 474-5313 or send in an online contact form today!